By Kevin Otte, Otte Ag, LLC
Q: What is the CCA of the Year Award?
A: The award program is designed to recognize an individual who is highly motivated, delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio.
Q: What do the winners receive?
A: The winner for the 2024 award will be recognized at the 2024 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in March in Ada. The winner will receive a plaque, recognition in industry publications, and a $1,500 cash award.
Q: What CCAs have won the award?
A: Past award winners include: Alex J. Lindsey, The Ohio State University; Tina Lust, Lust Seed Sales & Service; Thomas Puch, Heritage Cooperative; Wesley Haun, Tiger-Sul Products, LLC; and Don Boehm, Legacy Farmers Cooperative. To view the full list of past award winners, visit www.oaba.net/cca.
Here is more about some of the most recent winners.
Alex J. Lindsey, 2023 CCA of the Year
Lindsey is assistant professor of agronomy in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at The Ohio State University.
“Alex Lindsey’s commitment to the CCA program, not only as a member and researcher, but as a mentor makes him deserving of this prestigious award, according to Greg McGlinch, farmer and educator, who nominated Lindsey for the award. “Alex’s method of teaching agronomic research and practices allows students and farmers to apply the methods on a field scale.”
“Dr. Alex J. Lindsey has made a tremendous impact by nurturing countless young agronomists in becoming Certified Crop Advisers through applied and scenario-based agronomic teaching methods for years,” said Kevin Otte, chairman of the Ohio CCA board. “His dedication to the industry through teaching and research, and also through his service on multiple boards and committees supporting Ohio agriculture, agronomic endeavors, college students and high school/agriculture teachers certainly attest to his passion and dedication in serving the agricultural industry and Ohio’s farmers. We are pleased to add his name to the list of CCAs of the Year.”
Tina Lust, 2022 CCA of the Year
Lust is the owner of Lust Seed Sales & Service in Marion with more than 26 years of crop advising experience. As a seed agronomist, Lust focuses on providing her customers with ethically, environmentally and economically sound recommendations that keep farmers in business. She previously served as a director and chairwoman of the Ohio CCA Board. During her years of service, Lust revamped the board’s organization, rejuvenated lapsed committees, represented the Ohio CCA Board on the Lake Erie Commission to reduce phosphorous losses, and served on the International CCA Board.
“In my mind Tina is one of those well-rounded agronomists who get the job done for their customer,” said Harold Watters, retired — Ohio State University Extension, who nominated Lust for the award. “I talk with Tina’s customers and they tell me how much they appreciate her advice. She isn’t flashy or all that vocal about how she works but she digs in and really helps her customers.”
Thomas Puch, 2021 CCA of the Year
Puch, of Carrollton, is an agronomist at Heritage Cooperative, responsible for developing nutrient management plans, making weed management and seed recommendations, taking soil samples, scouting, and much more. His total-farm approach helps growers improve profitability, while also increasing their awareness of environmentally beneficial and sustainable practices.
“Tom looks for all ways to improve a grower’s bottom line and help them be successful, he believes the growers success is his success,” said Michelle Egli, who nominated Puch for the award. “Tom continues to adapt new technologies and help growers to be sustainable into the ever-changing agricultural industry. He continually strives to help shape and better the industry for the next generation.”
According to Egli and grower John Martig, who also nominated Puch for the award, Puch is a mentor to young farmers and agribusiness professionals.
“He is the kind of crop advisor that ag schools should pattern their students to be like,” said Martig. “This would stand true for students studying to become better farmers and for students studying to become advocates for agriculture through teaching or otherwise.”
Q: What do I need to do to nominate someone?
A: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2024 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year award sponsored by the Ohio CCA Program. Submit nominations by Jan. 15, 2024, to the Ohio CCA Board c/o Ohio AgriBusiness Association, 5151 Reed Road, Suite 126-C, Columbus, Ohio 43220-2598. Visit oaba.net/aws/OABA/pt/sp/cca for more information and a nomination form. For additional information, contact Janice Welsheimer at 614-326-7520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.